A man with diabetes consults a medical assistant.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Diabetes rate increasing faster among Canadians of Chinese origin

Share
Listen

Diabetes rates are climbing precipitously in Canada, but much more so among people of Chinese origin according to a new study. The incidence of diabetes increased 15 times between 1996 and 2005 in that group, but rose only 24 per cent in people of European extraction, as found researchers from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto.

Enormous increase

null
Dr. Baiju Shah, researcher, found the increase in the rate of diabetes among Chinese-Canadians to be “enormous.” © Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences

Enormous, is what senior author and endocrinologist, Dr. Baiju Shah, called the rate of increase in diabetes among Chinese-Canadians. They, like other Canadians, have increasing rates of obesity due to more sedentary behaviour and changes in eating habits—consuming more processed foods, energy-dense foods, fast foods and eating larger portions. Weight gain and sedentary behaviour increase the risk for diabetes.

“But I suspect it’s more than just that,” said Shah. He noted that the rates of overweight and obesity are much higher in the white European population than they are in the Chinese population and yet the diabetes rates seem to now be higher in the Chinese population.

A genetic component may be involved

“So there must be some kind of genetic component there as well,” Shah concludes, “and we suspect that Chinese Canadians are predisposed to having more severe complications and consequences of gaining even smaller amounts of weight than people of European background are.”

Other studies are looking at the physiology, metabolism and clinical changes in people of different ethnic backgrounds and why they appear to be more susceptible to weight changes than those of European background. Until research clarifies matters, he suggests health workers need to be on the lookout for diabetes in patients of Chinese origin and to look for culturally appropriate ways to change activity and eating habits that are increasing their risk of developing diabetes.

null
A patient with diabetes rests his arm on a table for specialist Dr. Tong Xiao Lin during a checkup in Beijing last year. Diabetes rates are increasing among people of Chinese origin in Canada and in China itself. © David Gray/Reuters

Diabetes tsunami

The increase of diabetes is like a tsunami in Canada, says Shah, but it is also a serious problem around the world. He notes the number of people with it in China will soon exceed the total population of the United States. This will place a heavy burden of health care costs worldwide particularly in developing nations.

There may be some other, as yet unknown factor contributing to overweight. Shah mentioned a study showing that lab rats are heavier than they were 20 years ago. “There’s something in the environment maybe or in our perceptions of food that has changed and… that is leading to changes in weight. There’s lots of research going everywhere on what are the causes of this and more needs to be done.”

Share
Categories: Health, Internet, Science and Technology, Society
Tags: , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*